Bitcoin use in Venezuela took a hit this week after a persisting electricity blackout appeared to limit the ability of users to transact. 

Bitcoin Trades Drop 40 Percent

That was the conclusion of some cryptocurrency commentators as data showed weekly trade volumes on P2P platform Localbitcoins fell by 40 percent in the week ending March 9.

The blackout, which began March 7, has affected 18 out of Venezuela’s 23 states while plunging millions of residents of the capital Caracas into darkness for days on end.

As hyperinflation continues to rage, Venezuelans have increasingly turned to Bitcoin as a means of payment and investment amid tight controls on foreign currency. As Bitcoinist reported, Localbitcoins trading was setting new records on a weekly basis until the blackout hit — with the busiest seven-day period seeing over 25 billion sovereign bolivars (VES) change hands.

That number fell to just 14 billion the following week, the lowest rate since mid-January. Local market participants, among whom Caracas Chronicles…

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